Pork barrel scam whistleblower Merlina Suñas said Janet Lim-Napoles took part of the government’s 60% commission from the Malampaya Gas Projects’ funds, reported 24 Oras on Friday.
According to Suñas, the money laid out for Ondoy and Pepeng victims, renewable energy projects, and other presidential projects were funneled through one of Napoles’ fake NGOs.
The process was done through faking letterheads and signatures of various mayors. These were put on letter requests issued by JLN Corporation, one of Napoles’ NGOs. They were the addressed to former Department of Agriculture (DAR) Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, who has yet to respond to GMA News’ requests for a statement.
Once the papers were received by DAR, a check was issued to the dummy NGO, the money from which is either stored in JLN’s account or sent to the corporation’s office. The money then was transferred directly to Napoles’ accounts, after commissions to their conspirators in DAR were sent.
After two or three months of the the transaction, Suñas, the former president an NGO of Napoles, prepared liquidation papers, despite not having real projects, with imaginary beneficiaries.
Suñas said that after the operations happened, 97 mayoral signatures were forged.
“Pero ang payments po, hindi sabay-sabay po yun. Nangyari po is three batch of payments yan,” said Suñas.
The Malampaya Gas Project gave $1.1 B or P47 B in royalties to the government this year alone. The Energy Department, in joint ventures with Shell, Chevron, and the Philippine National Oil Company, earns 40% from the project.
Napoles’ camp has repeatedly denied being involved in the pork barrel scam and the Malampaya fund scam. DAR meanwhile has ensured that they will fully cooperate with the Department of Justice’s investigation. — Marc Jayson Cayabyab/ELR, GMA News
Fugitive businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles could have been prevented from diverting millions in government funds had the Supreme Court resolved the four-year-old case involving the alleged misuse of Malampaya funds.
This was according to lawyer Harry Roque Jr., legal counsel for a group of petitioners that, in February 2009, filed a petition questioning the government’s supposed illegal and unconstitutional use of the Malampaya funds.
On November 24, 2009, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the case, but has yet to resolve it up to now.
“Had the Court decided the case immediately after oral arguments almost 4 years ago, we would not have just prevented Napoles from squandering 900 million of government money,” Roque said in a statement Wednesday.
Then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, through Executive Order 683, had authorized the use of fees, revenues and receipts from Malampaya gas field’s service contract no. 38 for the implementation of development projects for the people of Palawan.
The Malampaya gas field is a natural gas field located in the South China Sea, off northwest Palawan.
A report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer said at least P900 million from royalties in the operation of the Malampaya gas project has gone into a dummy non-government organization (NGO).
Roque said his camp would be filing a motion to resolve with the high tribunal on Thursday so the issue would get settled.
“With due respect to the Supreme Court, the Petitioners, the people of Palawan, and the people of the Republic of the Philippines have waited long enough for this Honorable Court to write finish to this plunder of public coffers,” he added.
Roque said the “systematic plunder” of the Malampaya funds has gone unabated since the petition was filed four years ago, as allegedly evidenced by the supposed pork barrel scam involving Napoles.
Apart from the Malampaya funds, a reported P10 billion from pork barrel funds—or Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF)—of lawmakers had been diverted to Napoles’s supposed non-existent foundations for ghost projects. Napoles and the lawmakers were said to split the money.
Roque lamented how one of the case’s original petitioners, Palawan-based broadcaster Dr. Gerardo Ortega, had been killed without even seeing their case being resolved by the high court.
Ortega was slain on January 24, 2011 in Puerto Princesa allegedly because of the exposes he made as a radio broadcaster on the massive corruption involved in the government’s handling of the Malampaya fund, Roque said.
Napoles and her brother, Reynald Lim, are currently the subject of a nationwide manhunt operation both by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police over a serious illegal detention case.
They are wanted for allegedly illegally detaining pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy, who claimed to be a former employee of Napoles’s JLN Corp. — Mark Merueñas/KBK, GMA News